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Air Force, Army Dominate Interservice Golf

By Master Sgt. Steve Miller, USA
American Forces Press Service

FORT BLISS, Texas, Oct. 4, 2002 – The Air Force won the team title by 28 strokes, and the Army won two of the three individual categories during the U.S. Armed Forces Golf Championships that ended Sept. 28 here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force 2nd Lt. Linda Jeffery watches her tee shot off the ninth tee Sept. 28 during the final round of the U.S. Armed Forces Golf Championships at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jeffery won the women's division. Photo by Master Sgt. Steve Miller
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Pfc. Christopher Douglas, Fort Bragg, N.C., shot a 3-under-par 69 Sept. 28 to become the overall winner and take home the title in the open division.

The Air Force team compiled a four-round total of 2,365, while the Army carded 2,393. The Navy and Marine Corps were a distant third and fourth, respectively, with totals of 2,488 and 2,587.

Many of the players were to remain at Fort Bliss to play in the international military sport, or CISM, golf tourney this week.

One bright spot for the sea services came from Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Rhys Evans, who nailed a hole-in-one Saturday on the par-3 seventh hole. Evans, based in Hawaii, said it was the fourth hole-in-one of his golf career.

"It was a 2-iron into the wind. It's the same type of shot I play in the wind in Hawaii," Evans said. "I hit it exactly like I wanted. It bounded toward the flag, I heard it hit the stick, and I saw it disappear into the cup."

Douglas finished 8 under with a four-round total of 280, edging the Air Force 2nd Lt. Ben Leestma by two strokes.

"The main goal is to keep the ball in play and give yourself a chance to make putts," Douglas said. "It got away from me a little on the third hole because I put it in the water. But I got out of that par-3 with a bogey-4, and I was able to do better the rest of the way."

Consistent play over the final three rounds carried the Air Force to its team title and brought the women's division crown to 2nd Lt. Linda Jeffery, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. Her four-round total of 300 was four strokes better than teammate Lt. Col. Gail Kramer from Los Angeles Air Force Base.

"I just tried to go out and play a good round and be consistent," Jeffery said of a final round she started with six-stroke lead. "I feel pretty good. It (the CISM tourney) will be my fourth tournament in a row. I had a command tournament, then the Air Force trials and this one."

Lt. Col. Mark Johnson, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, garnered the Army's other individual title in winning the senior division by a whopping 13 strokes. His 4-under-par 284 easily beat the Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sam Paugh, who finished with a 297.

"My victory didn't mean anything. I wanted to win the team title," Johnson said afterward. "But the Army has six people on the U.S. team for the CISM tourney. That's nearly half the team."

Indeed, six soldiers and five airmen are on the 14-member U.S. team. The Navy has two golfers in the CISM tourney and the Marine Corps one.

The Air Force would have also qualified Master Sgt. Mark Gardiner and 1st Lt. Jeff Scohy in the open division for the CISM tourney, but they had to return to their bases to fulfill duty commitments. The same was true of Army Capt. Emily Blevens of Fort Jackson, S.C., in the women's division.

Replacing the blue-suiters on the U.S. team are Army Capt. Damon Ragsdale of Fort Hood, Texas, and Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Laurence Gausepohl, while Navy Lt. Heather Lee replaces Blevens.

Army members on the U.S. team include Douglas; Johnson; Ragsdale; Pfc. Chad Saladin of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Maj. Mike Armstrong of the Army Test and Evaluation Command in Alexandria, Va.; and Sgt. Stephanie Mann of Rhine-Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Air Force members include Jeffery; Kramer; Leestma; Paugh and Maj. Mike Freels of McChord Air Force Base, Wash.

Rounding out the U.S. team are Lee, Gausepohl and Navy Lt. Jim Day of Naval Station Mayport, Fla., the sixth and final qualifier in the open division.

U.S. Armed Forces Golf Championships

Open Division

*Christopher Douglas, Fort Bragg, N.C. 69-70-72-69 - 280

*Ben Leestma, Moody AFB, Ga. 70-70-73-69 - 282

*Chad Saladin, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 73-70-73-70 - 286

#Mark Gardiner, Scott AFB, Ill. 73-72-75-69 - 289

#Jeff Scohy, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 72-71-70-78 - 291

*Jim Day, Naval Station Mayport, Fla. 73-74-73-71 - 291

*Damon Ragsdale, Fort Hood, Texas 77-71-75-73 - 296

#Scott Cornette, Gunter Annex, Montgomery, Ala. 81-73-71-77 - 302

#Jim Alger, Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. 73-78-77-74 - 302

*Laurence Gausepohl, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. 78-77-74-73 - 302

Rod Frank, Navy, National Security Agency 75-78-72-80 - 305

Johnny McCray, Marine Corps Base, Hawaii 74-76-79-77 - 306

Nicu Nastase, Marine Corps, Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss. 75-74-81-78 - 308

Rhys Evans, Marine Corps Base, Hawaii 81-79-78-73 - 311

Michael Withrow, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 78-76-81-80 - 315

Bradley Shee, Naval Station Newport, R.I. 79-86-82-79 - 326

Men's Senior Division

*Mark Johnson, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 76-71-67-70 - 284

*Sam Paugh, Luke AFB, Ariz. 78-71-75-73 - 297

*Mike Armstrong, Army, ATEC, Alexandria, Va. 74-74-73-78 - 299

*Mike Freels, McChord AFB, Wash. 76-73-72-79 - 300

Jim Romano, Navy Military Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn. 76-76-74-76 - 302

Steve McDonald, Marine Corps, Okinawa, Japan 76-77-74-76 - 303

Gary Fuselier, Norfolk Naval Base, Va. 74-78-77-80 - 309

Leonard Smoot, Marine Corps, Okinawa, Japan 83-79-80-76 - 318

Women's Division

*Linda Jeffery, Brooks AFB, Texas 78-75-72-75 - 300

*Gail Kramer, Los Angeles AFB, Calif. 79-72-80-73 - 304

*Stephanie Mann, Army, Kaiserslautern, Germany 76-75-81-82 - 314

#Emily Blevens, Fort Jackson, S.C. 80-81-79-79 - 319

*Heather Lee, USS John C. Stennis, San Diego, Calif. 74-82-85-84 - 325

Kelly Hollister, Point Loma Submarine Base, San Diego, Calif. 76-86-83-83 - 328

Beth Wolny, Camp Pendleton, Calif. 91-88-85-97 - 361

Kathi Moss, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. 89-89-106-94 - 378

*U.S. Armed Forces Golf Team

#Unable to play in CISM tourney due to duty commitments

(Master Sgt. Steve Miller is the Public Affairs Chief, Fort Bliss, Texas.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Maj. Mike Armstrong watches his tee shot from the ninth tee Sept. 28 during the U.S. Armed Forces Golf Championships at Fort Bliss, Texas. Armstrong placed second in the men's senior division. Photo by Master Sgt. Steve Miller   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force 2nd Lt. Ben Leestma follows his shot from a sand trap onto the 18th green Sept. 28 during the final round of the U.S. Armed Forces Golf Championships at Fort Bliss, Texas. Leestma placed second in the open division. Photo by Master Sgt. Steve Miller  
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